Our Industry Has A Carbon Issue
Most clothes are made using energy from coal-fueled power plants. This adds warming gases into the air we breathe and accelerates the climate crisis. In just one year, the clothing industry will contribute 1.2 billion tons of CO₂ emissions into our air. That’s as many emissions as international flights and maritime shipping combined.
We’re letting go of virgin materials.
Extracting and processing virgin materials takes a toll on land, water and air. To do our part, Patagonia is moving toward 100% renewable and recycled raw materials. By using both synthetic and natural fibers made from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, we are limiting our dependence on raw materials and reducing carbon emissions.
Our Post-Consumer Recycling
Post-consumer refers to any finished product that has been used then diverted from landfills at the end of its life. This includes anything that you throw in the recycling bin at home or at designated textile-collection bins, as well used fishing nets, carpet and other consumer goods that can be recycled into textiles.
Our Pre-Consumer Recycling
Sometimes referred to as “post-industrial,” pre-consumer waste is created during the manufacturing process, like fabric scraps or yarn waste from weaving mills and spinning factories. In the example of recycling post-industrial cotton, the recycled yarn is sometimes mixed with other materials, like polyester, to ensure there is no loss in performance.
We Need the Clothing Industry to Change
Less than 1% of used clothing is recycled into new clothing every year. To truly make an impact, we need industry-wide change. If the clothing industry used recycled materials to make their clothing at the same rate as Patagonia, we could reduce the equivalent emissions needed to power every household in California for one year.*
*Patagonia has avoided the emissions of approximately 20,000 tons of CO₂e by using recycled content in one year. If we all did this together, we could remove 114,000,000 tons of CO₂e. According to the EPA emissions calculator, that is equal to the amount of CO₂e that results from the energy used in ~13,651,060 homes. According to census data, the total number of households in California is 13 million.